Color Trends Changing with the Times

100 Years of Color 1954


Taking you on a journey through time with color, Katie Greenwood sheds light on the influence that world events have on color trends throughout the centuries in her book 100 Years of Color.

Radiant red, green, yellow, and blues are prominent around 1903 and reflect the illuminated colors indicative of the peace years. The 1920s and 1930s include a clash of colors from the Art Deco movement include confusing combinations of muted and bright colors. Dim tones of brick, black, and beige come into play reflecting the outbreak of the First World War. Flowing through the years, color schemes change to pale blues and greens in 1946, and by 1954 colors come back to a louder pastel orange, yellow, blue and pink. Technology has recently had a large influence on the more prominent color trends in play today. The invention of fluorescent ink in the 1960’s called for lustrous colors and the 1990’s widened their color pallets with the growing popularity of the personal computer.

100 Years of Color 1954

Pantones color choices of 2016, Rose Quartz and Serenity, are foreshadowing a year of tranquility, wellness, and peace in turbulent times. This is just another example of color trends coming and going within design just as frequently as fashion fads revolve in and out of style.

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